jun 12 2011

Review: City And Colour – Little Hell


Releasedate: 2011-06-13

Label: Dine Alone Records / Cooking Vinyl

This is – without any doubt in my mind – one of the best records of 2011. The voice of Dallas Green keeps knockin down my door, begging for another listen. Well, I wont let the man down. He is a genius.

City And Colour´s third full-lenght album is simply beautiful. This Canadian fella just needed to sing his first words and the hook hit my heart. It´s a multifaceted tool, it´s a six-way street, it´s all of the above.

The songs were recorded at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, Ontario – a converted church with wideopen architecture – with producer Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie) at the helm. They´ve made a masterpiece.

Take the Dylanesque twist of ’The Grand Optimist’, where Dallas Green sings of his dad who always sees things on the bright side. Then, the chorus with the fateful chord and the everlasting line: ”I guess I take after my mother.” Brilliant.

Or the haunting ’O´Sister’ who describes the struggles faced by the singer’s own sister through some really tough times. Moving, strong stuff that will make a difference to people. It´s nervy and anxious. It´s hard to get by.

A piece of advise? Don´t miss out on this one.

¤ 6/7 Kentuckyseven´s

¤ Listen: The Grand Optimist

¤ Listen: O´Sister

jun 1 2011

Review: Mechanical Bride – Living With Ants


Release date: 2011-06-06
Label: Transgressive Records

Lauren Doss, a 25-year-old songwriter, self taught, super talented is really something else. When I stumbled upon the record I did not know what to expect. At all.

Admitting that I do have a soft spot for great female voices, this made me very surprised and excited. The record makes the listener unpatient. What will next song sound like. I need this kind of music in my life. We all do sometimes.

Living With Ants is not just another record. This is great, in all ways thinkable. There are some great connections in the lyrics, to the sound. Like great conversations, inside of the, what I imagine, great writers-mind of Lauren Doss and her friends in Mechanical Bride.

I picture the band in an intimate setting, playing all-acoustic with a completely silent audience baffled in front of them. Wish I could be one in that crowd.

Five 7’s is a bit cheap, but I know that Mechanical Bride is going to greater stuff further down the road.

maj 20 2011

Review: My Morning Jacket – Circuital


Label: V2

Releasedate: June 6 2011

¤¤¤ Circuital is My Morning Jackets 6th studioalbum. The titlesong, and the album as a whole, is all about coming home.

The band with singer Jim James as the leader of the pack, got back to the homestate of Kentucky and made this one. Good move, it´s their best record so far.

Circuital was recorded in the gymnasium of a Louisville church under the aegis of producer Tucker Martine (Spoon, Decemberists). Converting the gymnasium into a recording studio must have been a pain, but it paid off. The album is recorded live, with James vocals recorded at the same time as the band´s performance.

First and foremost, this is an album. A unit of songs that belong together and need each other, a solidarity, a scarce item in the world of music today. I kneel to the power of these 10 songs. Together they break down walls.

In my mind My Morning Jacket is one of the world’s greatest rock n roll bands. They got their own thing going. You can only compare them to themselves. It´s like listening to a good friend, someone you don´t ever want to shut up. It´s like having drinks without the hangover.

Kentuckyseven (of course) loves Kentucky. My Morning Jacket is a great ambassador of the Kentuckian gospel. Long live the bluegrass state.

On #9 Slow Slow Tune I get a feeling of a high-school-prom. Standing next to a beautiful girl, or just a girl, hands sweating, guts disappearing, life pumping thru the veins. Feelings.

This is a classic record, don´t miss it.

¤¤¤ 6/7 Kentuckyseven´s

¤¤¤ Drink while listen: Bourbon

¤¤¤ Best songs: Circuital, Wonderful (The Way I Feel), Holdin’ On To Black Metal.

maj 2 2011

Review: Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues


Label: Bella Union / SubPop

Releasedate: 2011-05-02

Having almost created a genre of their own with the first album, this Seattle-based folk band follows up with greatness. A sophomore album with dignity. I am stunned, just like in 2008.

Mr Pecknold know his way around folk, having created the feeling of the sixties-sound cloaked in a modern wardrobe. The vocals and instruments makes you wait for the next album already. The lyrics are like stories, and wanders from barefoot to heavy workboots. Know this, this album is bound for many late night sessions in the summer to come.

In interviews, Pecknold refers to his feelings for this album, wanting to create something in the vicinity of Van Morrisson’s Astral Weeks. Beeing inspired by Roy Harpers album Stormcock. I say this is nothing less than epic stuff.

Like many follow-ups, the anticipation is great, and having followed Fleet Foxes during the process, on Twitter, I have been more than inpatient. I have to say, the wait was not at all in vain, it exceeded my expactations. Way beyond, that is.

Fleet Foxes will be playing Way Out West this summer, I will be there, believe me, I will be there.

Close to perfection, again. This album is a clear six. A Kentuckyseven-Classic already.

apr 25 2011

Review: Alessi’s Ark – Time Travel


Release: 2011-04-25

Label: Bella Union

Alessi Laurente-Marke, is exactly what the world needs. Her music deserves to be heard by every each and one. The 21 year old british musician, is doing just about everything right.

Her sophomore album ”Time Travel” is no exception. The sound is familiar, but it has grown. Oh how it has grown. From her previous releases, it has made a journey, to new higher grounds. The lyrics are greater, still narrowing down just so they fit the exquisite guitars and pianos of what is Alessi’s Ark.

I must have exceeded the number of times you are allowed to listen to an EP, listening to her EP ”The Horse” from 2008. Four songs that completely blew my mind, and still do.

”Time Travel” feels like the right way, to get to know Alessi, if your ways haven’t crossed before. The way the album winds down several beautiful roads, with the delicate voice of Alessi, is like beeing on a great excursion, in forests, fields and the countryroads of which ever great country on earth. And beeing guided by these songs is just close to perfection.

I still haven’t had the luck of seeing this great artist live yet, but from what I have heard, it is just as beautiful, so I keep waiting. Waiting for the Ark to set sail for sweden. I will be at the docks waiting.

6 out of 7, what else is there to do? This is amazing stuff.

Wanna know more about the artist Alessi’s Ark? We had the fortune of getting a word with Alessi, a while ago… read more.


apr 18 2011

Review: Guillemots – Walk The River


Release: 2011-04-18

Label: Geffen / Wrasse Records

The sound of Guillemots is recognized by the way they keep changing the sounds. But the energy and the desperate love is recognized in every song.

Walk The River, is no exception, the music moves from high and wide, to low and dark. The titlesong is somewhat ”too clean” but still a seriously grand rocktune. And would surely fit on any indie-club with self respect. The way it winds up from a low key with great vocals by Fyfe Dangerfield, to a full blown brit-anthem.

This, the third album from the band feels more mature and yet wild and unexpected. Recorded in Bryn Derwen Studios, an old mansion in rural Whales. Produced by David Kosten (Bat for Lashes, Everything Everything).

If anything, this is an album that will grow on you. Probably best listened to in the dark, with plenty of alcohol present. This would probably not be classified as easy-listening, but if you are a fan of british smart indie rock, this is very much for you and your likes. I like it.

There is an eighties-feeling present, and at the same time something timeless, and familiar. When Verve was at their best, something like that. That feeling of carelessness, with affection.

It is sharply put together, with the roughness still close by. The athmospere, harmonies, and effects creates a bold presentation.

Fyfe creates moods, with great songs, and vocals, like always. You know instantly if this is an album for you. I know I took it instantly to my collection of great records.

Five out of seven is great. This is a great album.


apr 14 2011

Review: The Head & The Heart – The Head & The Heart


Release: 2011-04-18
Label: Heavenly Recordings / SubPop

Feels Like Hallelujah For The First Time…

Nothing better describes the feeling that crept upon me, when I first heard the sound of this Seattle-band. Something religious. Hallelujah.

The first thing that hits you, listening to this debut-album is that it can’t be a debut. Every song is carved in to your rainy, cold smothered heart, and just brushes everything off. Right there, on the first note. The first chorus.

When I saw the band, at Pustervik, I said to myself, and everyone I could get a hold of -This is something big. I was preaching for the choir. Everyone in that place already knew. I spoke to the band after the gig, and they were not that convinced. Yet. Humble people, that just love what they are doing. And how they do it.

All songs are like riddles, they start out in one way, and end up on another note, still sticking together like small short movies. One of the strongest song on the album, Down in The Valley, is writing references to ancient American songwriters as Dylan and other heroes. The piano, the strings and the ”Lord”. You have to be someone special to get away with. The Head & The Heart is something special. Very special.

I find myself, tapping my knees with my hands, stomping my feet, nodding my head completely open in buses, trains and all over the place. Completely unembarrassed. Like I could never see myself do before. This record is creating some kind of havoc in the controlled ordinary life that is mine.

The way this band present themselves on this album, is in no way ordinary, they have proved that this is something that will stay around for a long long time.

The song Rivers and Roads is a fine example of how to use all the knowledge and skills in the group. Charity is extraordinary in the way she finishes the dramatic end of the song. And experienced live, I know for a fact, that it can only be more exploding when standing close.

Magic is the proper word for describing it.

This is in every way thinkable a Kentucky Seven.

mar 28 2011

Review: Alexi Murdoch – Towards the Sun


Release date: March 28 on City Slang.

¤ Alexi Murdoch seems like a really cool guy. Born i London, raised in Scotland, Greece and France and then moved to North Carolina. Nowadays he lives in two places, New York and a small house on the west coast of Scotland where he spends his days writing and working on a small wooden sailing boat. I see – and thoroughly enjoy – that picture.

Now this british singer-songwriter releases his third recording, Towards The Sun. I was told this album was recorded in one sitting, one remarkable night in Vancouver during his 2009 North American-tour. Man, the intensity and the guts. Toward The Sun is a quiet and intimate album. It is often simple but touching lyrics, as in the beautiful Through The Dark: “I love you girl, I love you more than I can say, even with my heart in the way”.

I can´t help of thinking of two Swedes, Christian Kjellvander and Jose Gonzalez, with their unique sound. Together with Alexi Murdoch they are brothers in arms, wheter they like it or not. A kind of ruthless talent that won´t cave in. A sound of silence. It´s compelling and precious and right there infront of us.

Judge says: 5/7 Kentuckyseven´s

Best tracks: Some Day Soon & Through The Dark

Drink while you listen: Nero d´Avola

mar 21 2011

Review: Cocoon – Where The Oceans End


Cocoon – Where The Oceans End
Label: Co-op / Sober & Gentle
Release (SWE): 2011-03-21

They could have fooled me. This is french folk, with no taste of strong cigarettes or week old red wine.

The french duo consisting of Mark Daumail and Morgane Imbeaud create gloomy soundscapes and beautiful moods. Throughout the entire record, the stories are laid out, naked and intimate. This is music for those who love a good romance. This is like hooking up and breaking up, all at the same time. Emotions rolling on the carefully sung harmonies.

Comparing Cocoon with artists like Eliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens is easy, but still this is something else. The sound of a man and a woman.

In this genre, this is extraordinary, considering it is a thin line between to much, and not enough. Where The Oceans End makes you wish there was another album in the sleeve.

Close to a seven, the number six fits like a glove.

Waiting for more.

mar 16 2011

Rewiew: Does It Offend You, Yeah – Don´t Say We Didn´t Warn You


Releasedate: March 15 on Cooking Vinyl.

The second album from Reading-based DIOYY jumps at you from the get-go. This is excellent, full of emotions, uplifting stuff. Buckle up and upset your neighbours.

DIOYY have toured with Prodigy, Nine Inch Nail and Bloc Party and their music is the centerfold of that magazine. Electronic with a prevailing attitude. These guys take shit from no man, woman or animal.

Singer James Rushent is really convincing, his voice will not let go, get´s to your inside. It´s neon light music with that party-punk-dance you actually need every once in a while. Loud and clear.

The band took their bandname from a David Brent-quote; Ricky Gervais´ Office-dude said “My drinking, does it offend you, yeah?” Not a bad start.

And to quote DIOYY themselves; ”The funky monkey is coming.”

¤ Judge says: 5/7 Kentuckyseven´s

¤ Best track: John Hurt

¤ Drink while you listen: Umbrellas

¤ Check out: Spotify or Myspace.